Sunday 8 th
After a long journey from Birmingham to Frimley and the half a mile from the station to the centre finally arrived. As soon as you walk through the gate you see the 200 year old house, still in use to this day. But there was no time for sightseeing it was straight to a waiting room to have your picture taken and to have an introduction from the SGT MJR and then back down stairs to collect the kit we needed for the course. Once I had my kit I was given a ticket which contained my Platoon, section and section fire team and tent number. I was soon into my combats uniform when it was time for another into from the course commander telling us what he expected and what we can expect. Soon it was off to the mess tent, honey roast gammon tonight. Once I had eaten it was straight back to tent to unpack and put valuables and unneeded items into our soldier boxes. 4 platoon quickly made ourselves known to each other and it wasn't long until the jokes were cracked out, well they were until we were called for roll call at 22.30. Then it was heads down for the night ready for the next day.
Monday 9 th
No late wake ups this morning, up at 0530 with kit packed and ready for breakfast at 0600. We were soon formed up and ready to move out. First we had a two hour lesson on leadership, what it is, different types and core values. We headed down in front of the house and had our course photo taken. Now it was time to move out to the training area, however we had a surprise in store in how we would travel from A to B in the form off four tone army trucks. We soon piled in and quickly set off to the training area. A quick catch up on map and compass work which involved pacing and advanced map work with a quick assessment. The time soon passed and we were onto learning how to set up ambushes and what to do if we were compromised, with a quick practice it was time for lunch. Soon after we were sent over to a hill to watch the staff perform a section attack which everyone took notes. With a quick swig off water we got changed and did a one hour orienteering challenge with our section coming 3 rd . We headed back and did some revision on skill at arms ready for the next day. With a quick dinner then it was onto inter section sports, this included the first round of the boat race and volley ball. With 11 section coming 4 th overall it was time to have the briefing given along with getting kit ready and roll call and heads down for the night.
Tuesday 10 th
Again another 0530 wake up, with a quick breakfast and kit on, we set off to the obstacle course and log run, our section were battered and bruised as we ran with a 40kg log for over a kilometer with a one minute rest before we were set onto the course. Our section won the event with 14 seconds faster than any other team. However it wasn't long before we were kitted up again and sent to the armoury to grab our weapons. From there it was back to the trucks and off to the training area to practice section and platoon attack drills before we were sent onto the blank firing area to try out our skills on the enemy (the staff). However the enemy was soon subdued by the mass of 37 riflemen firing as one. As soon as we fired the attack was over and we set off back to the trucks for lunch. Lamb stew was on the menu which warmed the soul as it started to rain. With moral high we had a few in-field lectures about basher building, hygiene in the field and finding a suitable harbour area which could be defended and which we could launch operations from without going a far distance and a quick lesson on sentries. With notes taken it was back to Frimley for dinner and more inter-section competitions which was the second round of the boats races and tug of war, which again 11 section was denied the top three places by coming fourth again. But it was soon to bed after another briefing for a well deserved rest.
Wednesday 11 th
Today we were given a 0600 start which was a relief. But it was soon to breakfast and all field kit had to be packed as we were told we were going out for two days. All civvie kit was stored and locked as we took our weapons from the armoury once more. With a quick lesson on how to do command tasks then it was back onto the trucks and off again to practice patrol skill with our kit. A 20 minute lunch and we were off. After 2km of walking everyone's backs started to ache and one person was sent back for injuries. However, with an all round defence given and a reccy team sent out we knew soon camp would be made and to everyone's delight this happened 500 meters later. It was time to dig into our rations packs for an early dinner before our section commanders brought us together for a brief on our mission later in the night. Our mission was a quick in and out operation which was to gather intel on the enemy from an infield agent. After a few rehearsals 200m from the camp we set off at 2130 and had to be back at 2300. The walk was quick and brief when we had eyes on our man, myself and the section commander approached to get our intel until it was the spy flashed out his torch and alerted and enemy 100m away and they opened fire upon us, grabbing the intel and with the rest of the section giving cover fire we withdrew and safely got back to the harbour area. With adrenaline still pumping I was on sentry duty at 0000 and 0200 which isn't the best of times when you're up for 0530 the same day. However I used what sleep I could get.
Thursday 12 th
Again up at 0530, with breakfast eaten and kit packed we left at 0715 to go on the march and shoot. Everyone looked forward to this. After a two hour wait it was our turn to go. After a weapon and kit inspection we were off with our Para PTI. Arriving 30 seconds late to the range we put down our weapons and went onto the firing points, even with our lateness 11 section still won with the best inspection and shooting. And with command tasks to do throughout the day we had a lot to do. Soon it was back to an open area and a regroup before we set off to make camp once more with the added effect of the rain hammering down on us. After a bite to eat in the bashers as the stoves we ineffective to cook outside we had our meals cold. After a disappointing dinner we were briefed on tonight's mission the ambush. Kit was packed and ammo given out, everyone had to be ready. We soon set off into the night and after 30 minutes of patrolling and stopping we came to our ambush site. After 20 minutes of waiting we thought the enemy would never come until an ambush flare went off and the kill teams soon got go work. It went quiet again then the right cut off (my part) flare went off and we opened fire to kill any runners and the enemy commander trying to escape. We withdrew faster than any man could and got back to the harbour area. Sentries were placed once again and there were reports of possible attack on the camp and also the enemy commander had been injured not killed in the ambush. Same sentry times again and the rain didn't help and with no attack group moral shot down but in my head I knew we would succeed in our mission the next day.
Friday 13 th
The final greens day. Up at 0530 and off at 0640, camp gone and we were ready to make the final attack. We got into the bracken and undergrowth and moved through to the enemy position until a LSW post (light support weapon) opened up on the centre attack team and so it was up to me to make a flanking maneuver on the post to allow our guys to get through. With the post taken out we moved onto the enemy HQ and in one extended line off 37 rifles we fired, moments later three bodies fall out of a land rover one having a high ranking tab in his shoulders. However there was no time to celebrate it was off to Sandhurst to do another obstacle course and log run. We had a parade and met the General of Sandhurst who said he was proud off us all for getting there and telling us that my section came 2 nd was a good feeling. It was then back to Frimley to relax, hand kit back in and have a BBQ and watch a film.
Saturday 14 th
The last day. One more time up at 0530. With breakfast done and kit packed it was into formal dress for a church service in which I carried the ATC banner. Soon it was time for the final parade where the trophy was given and runner up medals with 11 section coming overall 4 th . Then with certificates given it was almost finished until the weather had one more surprise… yes you guessed it smashed down with rain just at the end, but the CO was persistent and still wanted to do his speech with two cadets getting hypothermia. But we soon got back to the tents to find ours had been flooded but we carried on and finished at 1230 as planned, with a quick ½ mile walk to the station and I was on the way home.